A lighter Hellcat, or the Wildcat pack system

This is how one can utilize the MOLLE Medium/DEI 1609 U shaped pack frame with a Medium ALICE pack with no sewing needed.

20200105_11495820200105_115014

The complete pack system

20200105_115852

You loop the LC-2 Upper connector strap into one of the slots on the vertical horn of the frame on each side;

20200105_115052

Then you insert the tail end back into the frame pocket

20200105_115927

Pull the tail end to secure the frame into the frame pocket

20200105_115955

And insert the tail end into the strap metal loop on the rucksack

20200105_120015

Now it is going around the shoulder pad’s webbing, as is standard

20200105_120045

Finish the upper setup with the friction buckle as shown. This method ensures the pack frame does not slip out of the frame pocket, and stabilizes the pack to the shoulder straps as well, by pulling up the frame towards the top, and with the metal loops, pulling the pack towards the user’s neck

20200105_115105

This is how mine looks when complete. You can opt to pull the strap over the neck padding if desired, however I believe doing it this way may irritate your neck due to the webbing.

20200105_11512320200105_115143

The lower frame to pack connections; loop the strap through one of the horizontal slots on each side, and fasten as standard. The lower shoulder strap is looped through the vertical slot on each side of the frame.

Extra wide, Extra Large MOLLE belt

Sorry for neglecting this blog! I have been busy, what with being married and saving up for wedding reception and other things! Here is one of my projects; an extra wide, extra large MOLLE waist belt system; It is made of 1000D Cordura in Tactical Tailor Olive Green, with 3 rows of MOLLE, and 1 row of 2″ ALICE type webbing. The main belt is sized for 1XL-2XL dudes; about 40 inches and 6 inches wide on the padded, MOLLE/ALICE webbing section, with 2″ webbing belt for big bellies. I tried to make a set of MOLLE I style sleeves that extends the main padded section, but they are not very effective. Likely will redo them eventually.

DSCF2330

Shown with Tactical Tailor Medium Modular MOLLE belt

DSCF2331

Back showing 3mm air mesh padding

DSCF2326

With Tactical Tailor pouches and Bianchi holster; and Tactical Tailor X harness with custom front straps

DSCF2327

MOLLE I style extension sleeves; I think they need closed cell foam or plastic stiffeners to work better. Shown with MOLLE I vest panels attached

DSCF2317

DSCF2318DSCF2319DSCF2320

MOLLE I with extensions; modeled by yours truly, wearing 1980s OD Extreme Cold Weather Parka with liner removed;

DSCF2321DSCF2323DSCF2324DSCF2325

LBE mode with extensions removed, just main belt, Tactical Tailor X harness and 1.5″ vertical straps. Same 1980s parka; the LBE equipment colors really blends with the parka color.

Been busy with life, two new rigs!

Been busy with life lately…. here are a couple updates!

Indy style 500D Coyote brown double sided Satchel/Bandolier, carries up to 10 20rd magazines, and 12 10rd magazines for Hi Point carbines, but can also be used to carry SMG/Glock stick magazines if they can fit in the elastic loops.

satchel-1

Front section view; very low profile, simple.

satchel-2-back

Back section

satchel-3-inside

Interior shot; 6 slots for 10rd mags up top, with Redball 995 magazines on bottom row

satchel-4-elastic-loops

Close up of the bottom row elastic loops for the 20rd magazines

satchel-5-flat-space

the space in between the two sections, useful for flat items and small items

 

Next up, a Split front MOLLE chest rig out of 1000D Woodland Cordura scraps that weren’t perfectly cut; using IDF style spring loaded cam buckles for closure, and ALICE LC-2 Enhanced ruck straps for the shoulder straps with 2 additional spring loaded cam buckles, all of which came from scavenged/surplus ALICE LC straps. SPecs of the rig; 8 MOLLE columns and 7 rows, with no gap, or 4 rows plus 3 rows in between the 4 main rows

20161231_223759

MOLLE Split rig clean mode, simple LadderLoc buckle for rear cross strap

20161231_223807

Close up of the buckle attachments

20170101_115459

With IDF style single pull cord knotted into both buckles. Very quick release on the straps, and easy adjustments for size

20170101_000453

Showing one set up; 12 AR magazines in 4 pouches, and 2 medic pockets, the rig is capable of accepting both MOLLE and ALICE attachments, as well as Bianchi’s UM84 clip system

20170101_115809

showing another set up; with the front closed up. again, 2 Tactical Tailor Universal Mag pouches, 2 TT grenade/small utility pockets, 2 canteen covers, and 2 IDF small pouches connected via ALICE clips, and finally, one large 200rd SAW ammo pouch for dump pouch duty.  I am on the look out for two more of the TT Universal Mag Pouches in Woodland, but may be able to just use two USGI M4 double pouches, or just get more short MALICE clips and tie ALICE pouches on there.

 

ALICE frame modular stuff sack pack system;

Decided to see what the MOLLE compression panels could take, and set up a backpack system in which the main bag is removable and contains all of my hammock camping gear cept tarp and suspension tree straps!

DSCN2311

Pack with everything loaded onto it

DSCN2312

Side view with hatchet mounted

DSCN2313

Other side view with knife and flashlight

DSCN2314

Bottom view, that is a vintage M1967 sleep system carrier being used as the bottom panel.

DSCN2315

Suspension view. Even though this frame is obsolete, and usually not comfortable with ALICE packs…it works pretty good for this load because of the packing system.

The pack contains the following items;

In the WW2 laundry bag stuff sack;

hammock

under pad

bug net

Kelty top quilt

In each of the 4x USMC Coyote brown pouches;

First aid kit (marked with red cross)

cook set and fire kit

food

back up hammock/gear hammock (Grand Trunk UltraLite)

In the MOLLE Water bottle carriers are the water bottles (self explanatory)

USGI M16 pouches carries my tarp in one, and hammock suspension in other

IDF revolver ammo/handcuff pouch houses my compass

Green Buttpack up top carries my clothes for up to 3 days

horizontal MOLLE pouch on very top carries my stakes, cordage, bandannas.

I do have room enough in the WW2 laundry bag to carry more insulation if I need to.

I notice that the MOLLE compression panels will likely need a 3rd buckle in the middle, and 2 more straps to attach to the frame, so that it compresses better around the main stuff sack.

MYOG hiking backpack

Unable to afford or justify spending a lot of money on a backpack that has all the features I wanted; I decided to make my own pack bag to use with both my ALICE frame and Civilian Hiking frame; and  presumably is also compatible with MOLLE frames of both types; the MOLLE DEI 1603 (Standard MOLLE large frame) and MOLLE DEI 1609AC (MOLLE Medium frame now issued in USMC)… so I bought 2 yards of fabric, measured and cut patterns, and spent several hours sewing it all together… In hindsight, if I were to order a pack with these features, it would be over a 100 dollars… Oh well! the pack is a little over 55 Liters, and is pretty light…not as heavy as the ALICE pack, but not as light as the hiking backpack, mainly due to the webbing and plastic Fastex buckles..the Side Pouches are sewn like the ALICE pack pockets, basically tunneled so that I can slip long items in between the pouch and pack body. Features are;

Made of 430 Denier Nylon,

Overall size; 20″Wx22″Hx9″L

Main upper compartment 12″x9″x13″

Main lower compartment 12″x9″x9″

Upper side Pouch 9″x11″x4″

Lower side Pouch 5″x5″x3″

Attachment system; Ladder locks and 1″ webbing straps

Webbing for canteens (after finding out not enough room to sew water bottle pockets..whoops)

10 Fastex buckles, 8 frame attachment points

DSCN2131

Pack next to Coleman PEAK 1

DSCN2132

Quarter view of pack showing side pockets

DSCN2133

Webbing for LC canteen covers, can use for other LC pouches

DSCN2134Upper frame attachments

DSCN2135Bottom of pack

DSCN2136Drawstring panel on bottom of pack, I might make an U shaped panel with elastic on bottom to cover the drawstring panel and flap; not sure yet.

DSCN2137

Upper side pouch, it’s based on the MOLLE Sustainment pouch size, and uses two buckles instead of one for better securing; I do not use webbing keepers, since the straps can be used to compress pouches and hold things like folded up sweaters or tarps or poncho

DSCN2143

On the ALICE LC frame

DSCN2142Back view with LC frame, showing attachments

DSCN2139Bottom attachments on LC frame

DSCN2140Lower corner attachment on LC frame; it uses the round hole to attach, just like the standard ALICE pack

DSCN2141Top corner attachment to LC frame

In theory it probably would be more comfortable using either a Canadian pattern 82 suspension or MOLLE Hellcat suspension system…

 

External Frame packs and Vintage ALICE Goodness!

Decided to do redo my hiking backpacks and return the Improved Hellcat pack frame to stock format of Coleman PEAK-1 bag, original straps and all; and packed it with stuff for the Significant Other except her clothes….What is surprising is that the removal of the military equipment cut out around 5 pounds of unnecessary weight; though at the loss of modularity….right now with stuff except clothes and water, it weights 16 pounds overall. The big green Academy Broadway Jasper pack is full of stuff except water, and carries extra items for two people, weights in at 22 pounds, but empty, the pack weights around 5.5 pounds, still a significant weight loss compared to the MOLLE equipped Coleman pack frame before. I also decided to return one of my old ALICE bags to a like-new ALICE frame and stock straps/belt (all 1978-1979 vintage and NO SCRATCHES OR DAMAGE!) that was given to me by the S.O.’s mother, turns out empty, it weights 9 pounds….only 2 pounds less than the MOLLE version, and still almost double the empty weight of the Jasper pack and the Coleman PEAK 1 pack.  Also did the Bobcat Mod on a camo ALICE bag with camo LC-2 straps, its not bad but not good for heavy loads.

DSCN2080

The three external frame bags;

DSCN2081View of their suspension components;

 

DSCN2082

Bobcat modded Medium ALICE

DSCN2083View of Bobcat modded ALICE straps;

DSCN2076

Loaded up before I transferred all the crap in there to the Jasper pack; here, it weighted 32 pounds O.O (with a full 1 gallon of water and too much food, enough for like 5-6 days hahaha)

DSCN2075

showing the Bobcat mod, which consists of a 11″ long steel tube in the frame pocket and the straps attached around it to the metal rings of the pack. It works OK, but is best for lighter loads than whats shown here.

OK, people are probably wondering HOW is it I have so much stuff in those bags…..for the purposes of pictures, the ALICEs are loaded with extra items I have.

Academy Broadway Jasper pack list;

-blue CCF pad

-12×9 poly tarp

-10 stakes

-bug tent in lower compartment

-first aid kit in side pouch

-granola bars and chocolate packets in side pouch

-fire kit in small side pouch

-2 pairs of pants

-2 shirts

-2 pairs of underwear

-3 pairs of socks

-fleece pull over

-2 2qt canteens (empty right now)

-Kelty top quilt

-Food for 3 days

-canteen cup

-weight currently at 22 pounds without water.

Coleman Peak 1 pack

 

-Down 20 degrees mummy bag (too small for me, but perfect for S.O.)

-2 1qt canteens (also empty)

-canteen cup

-kitchen items; forks, spoons, skewers and pot holder

-2-3 days of food

-granola bars

-weight 16 pounds, no water or clothes

Green Medium ALICE pack

-empty weight; 9 pounds (EEK)

-twin air mattress

-one old sleeping bag

-two empty canteens

Camo Medium ALICE pack; Bobcat mod

-MOLLE straps inside

-MOLLE belt inside

-2x MOLLE sustainment pouches and MOLLE panels

-2x USGI 3 day training packs

-Hex tarp

-Bat-wing tarp

-extra stakes

-hammer

-total weight; 18 pounds

 

Out of all the packs, the Jasper’s modified waist belt fits the best, 2nd only to the MOLLE hip belt, and the Coleman Peak 1 straps are the most comfortable, 2nd only to the MOLLE shoulder straps… the belt it has is too small for me; so its ok for the S.O. for now. The worst straps is a tie between the Jasper straps and the ALICE LC-2 OD straps on the stock ALICE pack. The Jasper straps’ metal buckles are right in front of my armpits, where they should NOT be…..however, the upper mounts is at the perfect 45% angle, so I think I only need to modify the straps by extending the upper mount somehow. Not sure how to best proceed….There is the option of making complete new straps with a set of cannibalized LC-2 long straps similar to the woodland ones in OD, with which I would mount the bottom of the backs to the lower cross bar between the top and the bottom, and have load lifters to the original strap cross bars, this would give me 6 points of adjustment. Ideally if there was another bar below the cross bar, that would be the perfect place for new straps…I am not sure what model Kelty is closest to this frame… Or Jansports for that matter.

As for the Hellcat mods; I think I want to do it again with a DEI 1606AC frame, and probably with new, lighter materials similar to the set up on the Coleman Peak 1 pack, but in Olive or Camo…

For actual bug out bags, it is hard to beat the practically indestructible ALICE packs, especially with the Hellcat mods…..When one considers the need for the fabric to actually stand up to abuses such as dragging in the mud, tossing in the truck, or whatever vehicles have you, and so on….the ALICE and the MOLLE equipment are pretty good for that… BUT….unfortunately, it can also make you a target, hence my decision to pack these two civilian hiking backpacks, which are pretty tough, and also pretty much common everywhere (the Kelty/Jansport style one, not sure of the Coleman but…)…and so will aid greatly in the “gray man” thinking. Out here in the PNW, people do not give second thoughts or focus on the bearded guy wearing surplus winter jackets and a civilian hiking pack; nor do they focus on the obviously large hunting camo wearing guy with the old army backpack and old hunting rifles….In some areas, people are more attracted to the guy who wears 5.11 everything and has a black or coyote backpack with miles of MOLLE; but they do not really notice the guy with woodland/desert MOLLE; nor do they notice the guy with the 30+ year old framed hiking backpack.

More Hellcat pack set ups!

SO I decided to see just how much I could stuff into the MOLLE sustainment pouches and what the main compartment of the Recon Pack can carry;DSCN1957Front view;

DSCN1958Showing the 2 qt canteens on the waistbelt portion;

in the MOLLE sustainment Pouches; I have the following;

3 pairs of pants all packed into one pouch,

and in the other,

3 pairs of underwear,

4 pairs of socks

3 shirts,

and a Fleece pull over.

in the Compression sack, I have the hammock, underquilt, and a fleece blanket for summertime.

in the Recon pack, I have food, fire starting kit, canteen cups, esbit stove, stakes, hammock suspension, tarp, first aid kit, empty 1 qt canteens for cooking water.

and here is the ridiculously big set up, with an ALICE pack in place of the Recon pack;  I transferred the 3 pocket contents from the Recon pack to the 3 pockets on the ALICE, and filled the main compartment with an USGI mummy bag; I know, it is ridiculously large and bulky hahaha

DSCN1959

with the older ALICE pack up top, I notice that the coloring are quite different…

 

DSCN1960view with belt opened up;

And then here is the minimal set up that would make sense if I have clothes in one pouch, and food in the other pouch;

DSCN1962Basic pack; stuff sack and 2 MOLLE Sustainment Pouches.